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Sometimes I Wish That It Would Rain Here

Thursday, December 07, 2006

virtual memories

ars recently had a post about a study indicating that people are more likely to have false memories about products that they interact with virtual than about products of which they see only static images and text. this is interesting for a few reasons, not the least of which are the implications it might have for virtual worlds like Second Life or World of Warcraft. these experiments (pdf) focused on virtual objects. how much of the tendency for false memories would transfer to social situations? my other question is how these false memories compare to the memories that would be formed from interacting with the physical product itself. is my memory both more inclusive (I get less false negatives) and more discerning (I get less false positives)? what about print media vs tv vs radio vs actual object vs virtual object? what about objects vs events vs social interactions? how about interactions w/ strangers vs interactions w/ friends vs common interactions vs uncommon interactions. I know there's a bunch of psych research on false memories, e.g. Beth Loftus, but it would be really interesting, in light of this recent study, to see how much of it and what sorts transfer to virtual experiences. I think this is a really interesting line or research and there's a heck of a lot to be explored here.


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